Wednesday, 31 October 2007
During Che's journey, he responded to needs, as he came to them, he gave free doctors advice, gave people money, he did not really have, when arriving at the lepor colony he was heading for, he tried to break down barriers in the contact with the lepors, and was importantly struck by the fact that the healthy and sick were seperated by a river, which according to the film upset him deeply, leading him to swim the gap on his birthday, to spend it with the lepors.
I know this was just a film, and also, I believe importantly, Che turned to violence to change the world. I believe coming into contact with real people with real problems, should change us all, that is where Jesus was when He was here, a real person, living, helping, loving all those He came into contact with, and those people were the sick, the dregs, the hated, the needy.
Jesus has and continues to change the world with love, not hate, love, not violence, love, not judgement. I know it is my word of the moment, but its challenging to face all with love, all, its challenging not to react with anger, or disgust, or hate, but with love, It is challenging not to judge, condemn or point the finger, but love. That is what Jesus calls us to do, it is what He did,
He loved, He showed love, His greatest act of love, was the greatest act of love, to give up His life for us, He did not fight , judge, condemn, He forgave and loved. Full Stop.
Monday, 29 October 2007
I want to write so much, I have loads to write, I have been thinking, reading , I have been inspired, by some films, some people and by God, and I want to get it all down, but I am tired, so this is hello, I am about, I will try to be more attentive, if I get any time, bear with me.
Monday, 22 October 2007
I'm not talking about challenged as a disability, like vertically challenged, I'm not talking about challenge from a struggling sort of sense, and even though I am challenged, its others reaction to them challenges that frustrate me.
I am feeling really challenged at the moment about how I live my life and am questioning my role in society and the world, I have a sincere belief that I should question how my life reflects that which Jesus wants me to live, in other words, is my job where God wants me to be, is it right to work for an oil company, is it right to buy cheap clothes that are made by slave labour, is it right to be caught up as much as I am in this worlds media and money driven life. what sort of message am I sending to my kids about that life???????????????????
There are more, my point is, that when I talk about this, and even talk about these subjects as my own challenge, and that I am being challenged personally, people seem to be taking offence, they seem to think I am challenging there way of life, or criticising the way they live, or that maybe I am getting confused.
I don't feel under pressure, I want my life to reflect who I follow, and I feel that is not necessarily the norm, it is how I am being challenged, I think I just wanted to get this down to clear my own head. Not to say, oh yea, I'm right, just to say its ok if Jesus wants me to question certain things in my life now, I want to listen and follow Him.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
Anyway, ( my favourite word.) Northern Ireland played football last night, and in a wonderful display, I was able to watch, thanks to the wonders of digital TV, a great 1-1 against Sweden.
Its great being the underdog, I always cheer for the underdog, I even, and this is hard to admit, but when England played rugby against Australia, I was behind England, you say why is that hard to admit, because England aren't usually the underdogs, and aren't very gracious with it.
Being humble is the key, so if Northern Ireland go on to win the European or world cup, I pray we stay humble.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Did I think that prayer does not work, did I not expect it to work, am I just better, because I'm not ill anymore. God works, He's good, He answers prayer. Remember it. Thanks God.
Not actually what I wanted to write, just a sort of update.
Persecution. I just worry that sometimes we are to ready to do as we are told by the world, we make excuses for the world , we want to abide by the law of the land , because it is right, but what about if it affects us doing God's work. I am not talking about unfair taxes, or the no smoking ban, or speeding tickets, or many other perceived unfair laws, that I and other christians may break from time to time, or don't agree with, especially speed limits.
I am talking about the pc laws, the laws which tell us we have to insure, protect, be careful, about reaching out to the world.
Are we ready to be persecuted, as a person, as a church, are we ready to do what is right, before God, in spite of the law, or insurance companies, or organisations that do not agree with us, or other religions.
Do we want to pander to others, do we dilute ourselves, are we, by trying to do right, in the eyes of the world, not following Jesus, not living as he would wish, not being open, when we should be, not giving when we have, because of regulations. Are we ready to break the rules, and as it says biblically, stand before the courts and say why.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
I am not an alarmist, I'm not going to jump on the first enviromental bandwagon that comes along, sprouting on about the end of the world, funny it used to be christians walking down the street with the sandwich boards telling everyone to stop, turn back to God, the end of the world is nigh. How times have changed.
I am not going to take that other view, that I have heard about, that of christians, wanting to abuse the planet as much as possible, to bring about the end of the world. Well that just has love written all over it.
I do want to say, I need to take responsibilities for my actions, you need to take responsibility for your actions. It is another one of those light in the darkness moments, stand at the sidelines moaning, or do our bit. God created this world, we are his, responsibility time.
I love the countryside, I do not want it to be one big waste bin, so I need to recycle more. I hate walking into town and breathing in loads of fumes, its horrible, I think about my baby daughter breathing that in. Smoking is banned in pubs and workplaces, but our kids now have to put up with more smoking at home, smoking on the pavements and nothing done about all the crap from cars that is pumped out.
I work in the oil industry, I do actually worry how I can continue to do so, and have a conscience. But even there, we know deisel cars can run on vegetable oil, we don't need to be abusing the world for oil.
We ( I mean I) need to really start to look at every decision we are making, is it based in goodness, light and love, or is there an implication to our environment or to someone on the other side of the planet, that we would rather not think about.
I am reading the irresistable revolution by Shane Claiborne at the moment, there are plenty of challenges in it, from the environment to community living, good book to read.
I suppose my end thought is......................THINK
Monday, 15 October 2007
I'm not well, typical really, I'm off work, I never get sick when I am at work, as soon as I have some time off though, bang. I think it is actually like a release, I always talk about relaxing, very rarely do it. I am not going to do alot at the moment, until I get better, well I'm gonna try. I really have to practice what I preach, rest in grace and love, but I just want to do so much. The trick is to be challenged, not ashamed or guilt ridden. That is so much of an answer to so many ways I and others lead our lives as Christians. I want to do so much for you Lord, I know you have done so much for me, teach me the way to live, in You, for You, walking the walk and talking the talk, in freedom and joy, wanting others to feel and know you, not out of shame or guilt, because You know all and have made everything clean and right. And help me to rest, because You need me fully fit. Thanks God.
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Thursday, 11 October 2007
Tearfund does some great youth stuff, and is a great aid organisation and amnesty I was drawn to through its symbol of being a light in darkness, which I believe we are all called to be. Anyway have a look, get involved, don't stand on the sidelines, if not these, find organisations you feel passionate about, and make a change.
Monday, 8 October 2007
This is very personal, so stick with me.
Tonight I had an argument with my oldest son, which very nearly turned physical, he is 11, he just wanted me to go away, he did not want to face up to his responsibilities, he would not allow me to be the parent, to tell him what he needed to do. I was told to leave his room, maybe I am old fashioned, but that is not acceptable, I am still the parent. But I got very angry, again.
Parenting is so hard, it can be heartbreaking, guilt ridden, scary, painful, frustrating and yet beautiful, fulfilling, loving, exciting, awesome.
As a parent, I believe, is the time when we are most aware of God's nature.
I read great books of great people, doing great things, single, childless, like Paul, and I can understand what he says about, not being married or having children, it allows so much more time and energy, such freedom, I don't know if I am looking at things the wrong way, but we need people like that, its biblical, yet we have swallowed the world view, that everyone needs a mate, etc......
We are so quick to tell our young, they need that relationship, that model family, I can't remember seeing that family once in the new testament. Parenting, partnership, family is hard, it takes devotion, hard work, patience and lots of love.
As a parent, I don't even know what to say sometimes, I am lost, trying, but lost.
I have been thinking tonight about the old testament and the new, and how this reflects my parenting. I try just to love my children, to guide and love them, to show them what is best for them, trying to teach them the best way in life, showing them the way to act, interacting with them, building a relationship, advising, admonishing, pulling them up.
God does that, always has, always will.
Guess what, my kids don't want to do it my way, they don't want to do it anyones way, they don't even know what way they want to do it, except, their way. They would rather not bother, rather not clean, work, have respect for themselves or me or my wife, plus so much more.
Guess what happens next, I come down like the wrath of God Himself, I come down, over the top, vicious and hard. I am dad, you will love me, respect me and do as I say. I know best, and honestly, I am looking after your best interests, all you have to do, is do as I say.
I don't think my son agrees. I look at the old testament and feel rather small.
God has been doing this for thousands of years, telling us the right way, loving us, blessing us, punishing us, looking after us. Generally as man, we said, we know best.
So, you did not give up. Can a parent give up. I hear about it, on trailer trash tv, but can a parent give up, can we get caught up in our own parental nightmares, we dismiss others because they can't be as bad as ours, we blame it on the other parent, we forget what it is like to be loved, we dwell on the sins of parents and people, and dismiss those closest to us, because it easy to forget, it must be, because parenting lasts a lifetime and beyond, when does the parent give up.
Its such a good job, God does not give up, we come into the new testament and understand, we did not make the grade, we are crap kids, we never get it right, all the bad things as God's child to do, I have done most of them.
My father in heaven says, I love you, accept me into your life, I sent my son, He died, your sin is gone, your paid for, all the crap that was there, I accept that I am not perfect, that I have ignored you, I want to live my life starting now. Jesus reigns and when I screw up , He will still reign.
I know my dad reads this blog, but, I love my Dad, plus I really like him too, and I bet if you speak to him, he will tell you how hard it has been, and about times he got it wrong, as we all do, but to receive the love back, he loves it, especially from his grandkids and knowing that on some level his children listened, got that love, got a bit of God.
You see that is the biggest point as a parent, as I come down like a ton of bricks on Morgan, my son, I will still be here today to love him. I will not give up on him, should I? what if he never takes my advice, never wants to know God, or His way of life, or even worse he wants to live his life the way I did and ignore God and me.
'Bruce Almighty' is a great film for illustrating how you cannot force anyone to love you or God, you cannot force them to follow your way, you cannot get them to forget the past, or anything you or others have done.
I can emigrate to a bubble, it would be easier. Life is so much better if you can afford to live without people or relationships, its just not real.
I can make excuses for myself or others, but I would be a liar and a hypocrite, the only way I can parent, that is best, is to love my children. I love you all, I pray the best Dad going can continue to teach me. Thanks.
Thursday, 4 October 2007
Now, as a family, probably like a lot of young families, we struggle with money, but actually I find the bigger problem I have with that, is worrying that we have no money. God always looks after me and my family, He is faithful, yet I worry, I really think that Satan enjoys us worrying, well the other day I woke up, and I thought about the little money we have, and realised it is God's. Not only is He creator of all, but I have given my life to Him. All of my life, all of my money, not just a tithe, I looked at the money in my wallet and said a prayer, God, what ever you want this money for, its yours.
I find great comfort in knowing my money belongs to God, but also challenged to do as I am told, if He wishes, to empty my wallet. I will have to do it. God is faithful. My brother Evan was talking about this to me the other day, and I felt really challenged to give more, we are His, everything we have is His, He told us not to worry, He is faithful. Good way to live if you ask me.
Had a cell group a couple of weeks a go that really made an impact on me, and because I am finding things very busy at the moment and am feeling very tired and lethargic, I think it is important to remember the basics and focus in the right direction, which of course, is on God.
At my small group, we had communion, but before we did, we had a really good time of opening up and confessing to God. I really loved just asking God again to clean every part of me, to help me as I struggle with so many weaknesses, to be King in my life, every day in every way, and then as taking that bread and wine, remembering exactly what He has done for me. It all starts at that cross, whatever I am doing in my life, or wherever I'm going, saying or being, it has to start there.
I was just listening to a song by the Killers called 'all these things that I have done', good song, and I haven't forgotten that I am doing a series on music, just going to get back to that sometime, anyway , all these things that 'I' have done, are all made pure and right by one thing that Jesus did, so that is where my life goes forward from, the cross.
The next point I want to make is about the other basics and how important they are. This isn't some moan off, or list of things to be done or else, but the actions which build us up, make us stronger, they seriously help to protect, and help us to walk in Jesus, building that relationship, sharing our faith, being who we are meant to be.
I am talking about prayer, the word of God, worship and our daily walk in life, I will probably expand at a later date, but some good thought to be going on with.